By Chris Parcellin | August 29, 2000

In “Slow Burn”, Katrina (Minnie Driver), is a beautiful loner who was raised in the Mexican desert by a father who spent years looking for riches eluded him in the seemingly endless sea of sand. She belongs nowhere and has no life experience outside the hermetic existence she has always lead.
According to folklore, there are diamonds hidden somewhere in the desert and Katrina is determined to finish her relatives’ work and find them. Right from the start you sense there’s trouble when the narrator’s voice kicks-in. This is often a sign that the movie doesn’t really hang together and the narration is a last ditch attempt to make the film viable. Whether this was the case with “Slow Burn” is semi-questionable, but it sure looks like it.
In any event, into this vile predicament stroll Josh Brolin and James Spader as a couple of escaped convicts. Now I ask you, can you think of two guys who’d be less convincing as menacing prison escapees than these two? The names Pauly Shore and Andy Dick come to mind–but maybe I’m being too hard on Pauly and Andy.
On top of that, Spader’s goofy homage to Ratso Rizzo is howlingly funny for all the wrong reasons. (Career suicide? What career?!) And Brolin walks around with his mouth hanging open likes it’s his first, bewildering day in special needs class.
But, go figure, it takes the criminals all of five minutes to stumble upon the diamonds. It sort of makes Katrina’s family look like a real pack of dopes for spending years searching for something a couple of marshmallow heads found almost instantaneously. Then again, just taking part in this movie could lop-off fifty points from anyone’s I.Q.
What possessed Minnie Driver to star in an uninspired film like “Slow Burn”? Who knows. Maybe she needed to pick up a few extra bucks to pay off her mortgage. Or maybe once she found out that Matt Damon and Ben Affleck weren’t going to be in it, it sounded pretty damn good.

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